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Why Brits are forgoing the salon and treating their hair more at home

Brits are treating their tresses. Even if they are cutting back on hairdresser visits – the number of salons on Britain’s high streets is steadily declining, according to The Local Data Company – they are recreating indulgent treatments at home.

That’s helped drive an extra £61.8m in haircare sales. ‘Hair slugging’ is a prime example of how this trend has played out. Boots named slugging – the act of covering hair with oil or serum before bed, then wrapping it in a sock, wrap or bonnet – as one of its key beauty trends of 2023. At the time of writing, the #hairslugging hashtag on TikTok had over 36 million views. Oils and serums are an obvious winner from this trend.

Home treatments work for repairing shampoos

But this focus on home treatments is also a win for repairing shampoos and conditioners. That’s worked to the advantage of Aussie, which was one of the few brands to grow volume as well as value. Its unit sales are up 7.9% in shampoo and 12.7% in conditioner.

In the case of conditioner, Aussie’s Deeep Moisture Hair Mask has been a driving force, says Ian Morley, VP of sales at brand owner P&G. It was “the second biggest innovation in the haircare category” in 2022, he says, and is continuing to sell strongly.

Aussie’s mask uses jojoba oil, avocado oil and macadamia nut oil as the key ingredients for adding moisture. But for a professional feel, many brands are turning to more scientific-sounding compounds. “Brands are addressing issues such as scalp health with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid,” says NIQ analytics executive Kevin Chen.

Conditioner value sales that were up 14%

Elvive’s hyaluronic acid range is a prime example. And our Top Launch (below) proves the brand has quickly jumped on another high-end haircare trend. Its Bond Repair range makes similar promises to much pricier brand Olaplex. That it still comes at a premium to Elvive’s standard lines goes some way to explaining why its conditioner value sales are up 14%, despite a 22.5% unit decline.

It’s not all about mimicry, though. In some cases, high end is coming to the high street – as proven by salon brands such as Redken landing on in October.

Who needs a hairdresser, anyway?

Top Launch 2023

Bond Repair | L’Oréal Elvive

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Bond repair is a big claim in haircare. Just ask US brand Olaplex, which stormed onto the UK market in 2015 with patented technology that promises to repair and strengthen strands. Now Elvive is bringing that claim to the high street. Its four-strong Bond Repair range uses a citric acid complex to target damaged hair and “restore its original strength”. It comprises pre-shampoo, sulphate-free shampoo, conditioner and serum. A 200ml bottle of the shampoo comes at £12 in Boots and Tesco.

Face off: Top Products Survey 2023 pits brands vs own-label